French election 2022 latest: Macron hits campaign trail as Le Pen touts ‘unity’ coalition

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen to face each other in French presidential run-off

French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen have attacked each other at the start of their run-off campaigns, after coming first and second respectively in the initial vote.

With just under two weeks to go until the final round, each politician wasted no time in casting sprays against their rival.

“Emmanuel Macron, if by some mischance he was re-elected, would feel totally free to continue his policy of social wreckage,” Ms Le Pen claimed, before turning to the cost-of-living crisis, her usual political line of attack.

For his part, Mr Macron accused the leader of the far-right National Rally party of being a “demagogue”, who told people what they wished to hear.

Responding to the first round results, Gérard Araud, a former French diplomat who is now a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council, said his country’s political life was now “more than ever a field of ruins”.

“Macron is leading a centrist block of nearly 30 percent, but his only credible adversaries are extremists,” Gérard Araud explained.


Macron says he would travel to Kyiv if ‘useful’

Emmanuel Macron has said he will travel to Kyiv or anywhere else if it is “useful”.

“I am ready to go anywhere and even to Kyiv if it could be useful, if it would help start a dialogue,” he told BFM television on Monday.

The statement comes not long after the French president was criticized by the Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki for talking to Vladimir Putin in an attempt to end the war in Ukraine.

“What have you achieved? Did you stop any of these actions? You do not negotiate with criminals, you fight them,” Mr Morawiecki said.

Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister who later served as the president of the European Council, took umbrage at his countryman’s words.

Addressing the French leader, he tweeted: “Mr President, dear Emmanuel, no decent Pole supports Madame le Pen, just like no decent Pole supports Orbán or Putin. Poles, in their overwhelming majority are for Europe, Ukraine and freedom, regardless of the rubbish PM Morawiecki says.

Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 19:15


Macron and Le Pen exchange bitter words

French presidential hopefuls Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen have strongly rebuked each other at the start of their run-off campaigns.

The day after the pair were chosen as the final two candidates in the race, each wasted no time in casting sprays against their rival.

“Emmanuel Macron, if by some mischance he was re-elected, would feel totally free to continue his policy of social wreckage,” Ms Le Pen claimed in a rural area southeast of Paris, drawing attention to the cost-of-living crisis.

While Mr Macron accused her of being a “demagogue”.

“Mrs. Le Pen is a demagogue. She is someone who tells people what they want to hear when they want to hear it,” he told The Voix du Nord newspaper on Monday.

Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 18:53


Photos: Macron campaigns in northern France

As we mentioned earlier, Emmanuel Macron has spent time campaigning today in northern France, where his far-right rival Marine Le Pen has stronger support than he does.

Here are some photos from his visit:

The French president arrives in Carvin on 11 April


Emmanuel Macron poses with construction workers in Denain, northern France

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A Macron poster in Paris is defaced with a sticker describing him as the ‘president of the rich’


Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 18:23


French politics now ‘a field of ruins’, says former ambassador to US

A former French ambassador to the US has described the political situation in his country as “a field of ruins” after yesterday’s vote.

Besides from the current president Emmanuel Macron, no centrist politician received substantial public support. But populist politicians – Marine Le Pen of the far right and Jean-Luc Melenchon of the far left – did.

Responding to the first round results, Gérard Araud, who is now a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council, said: “French political life is more than ever a field of ruins: Macron is leading a centrist block of nearly 30 percent, but his only credible adversaries are extremists.”

“All polls show so far that Macron should win but with such a small margin that the result may be reversed in the second round of voting on April 24. His victory is anything but guaranteed,” he added.

Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 18:00


Numbers moving in right direction for Macron, says analyst

Emmanuel Macron’s polling figures are heading in the right direction after the vote on Sunday, one analyst has said.

Mujtaba Rahman, who works for the Eurasia Group, a geopolitical risk firm, noted that the latest IFOP rolling poll estimated that Macron would win 52.5 per cent of the vote in the final round, up from its previous prediction of 51 per cent.

“Overall, it suggests numbers are moving in Macron’s direction,” Mr Rahman said.

Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 17:43


French center right party fighting to survive

Les Republicanains were once a dominant force in French politics.

However, party leader Valerie Pecresse gained less than 5 per cent of the vote in the first round of the presidential yesterday.

As well as suffering its worst result in modern history, the failure to achieve the 5 per cent threshold means the money the party spent on campaigning will not be partially refunded by the state.

Some struggle to how Les Republicains can recover from this setback. However, party activists retain their faith in its future.

“I don’t think our party will collapse…If Le Pen loses she is finished and if Macron wins it will be his last mandate so in 2027 there will be the need for something new and we will need to be ready,” Florence Portelli, the spokesperson for Ms Pecresse, said.

A 67-year-old retired lawyer called Jacques also believe Sunday’s result does not spell the end of the party he supports.

“It’s a slap in the face, but people are no longer thinking rationally and want to be sold a dream,” he said. “There is a risk the party will explode, but we need to regroup now.”

Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 17:20


Who is Marine Le Pen?

National Rally leader Marine Le Pen is now in a two-horse race against Emmanuel Macron to become France’s next president.

But who is the 53-year-old far-right politician? And how she has attempted to soften her image of her despite pursuing policies targeting Muslims and immigrants.

My colleague namita singh takes a closer look:

Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 16:56


Macron predicted to edge Le Pen, according to latest poll

Emmanuel Macron will narrowly defeat rival Marine Le Pen in the second round presidential vote on 24 April, the latest poll suggests.

The IFOP-Fiducial survey estimates that the incumbent president will win reelection with 52.5 per cent of the vote in the head-to-head against his far-right competitor.

The poll of 1,003 respondents was carried out between 10 and 11 April, with the margin of error falling between +/- 1.4 and 3.1 points.

Roughly a quarter of the French electorate are predicted to abstain from the second round vote.

Rory Sullivan11 April 2022 16:34


Le Pen says she would establish a ‘government of national unity’

Marine Le Pen claims she would establish a “government of national unity” were she to win the French presidency in two weeks’ time.

The far-right National Rally leader tweeted on Monday afternoon: “Elected president, I will set up a government of national unity, with personalities from other political families who share our vision of national independence or the reindustrialisation of the country.”

Ms Le Pen has previously spoken of the desire for a unity government, saying she had a “list of people” who she would want to include, “either in political life or in civil society who share the broad outlines of my policy”.

She said last week that she would not “decide on all the positions definitively, to be able to greet people who would decide to participate in the national unity government”.

Tom Batchelor11 April 2022 15:55


Former chancellor hails Macron’s ‘achievement’ in winning first round

Tom Batchelor11 April 2022 15:29

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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